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A quick and easy Ramen, is it possible?
Two years ago, my life was turned upside down. I became a Mom.
Since then, my life has been full of laughter and lots of joy. But I am in real need of time.
So a few months ago, when we were still in Germany, I asked Romà, the person behind the Ikigairamen profile on Instagram, if he knew of any easy ramen recipes that was very VERY quick to prepare.
Because, let’s not kid ourselves, when you have a 2 year old, making a 24 hour ramen is a NO NO.
And that’s how I discovered this recipe.
What is tantanmen?
Tantanmen is the Japanese version of the dan dan dish from Sichuan cuisine (China).
While the Chinese version comes without broth. In the Japanese version, the noodles swim in a broth made with soy milk and sesame paste, to which a little spicy oil (rayu) is added. This dish is usually served with minced meat flavored with chili.
Tantanmen in collaboration with @Ikigairamen
As I told you, this recipe is a collaboration with Ikigairamen, a ramen-loving chef. So if you like this recipe, don’t miss his profile on Instagram you will love it!
How to make ramen quickly
This recipe is composed of 4 parts:
- The broth + tare
- The noodles
- The egg
- The meat
Let’s look at them one by one.
The tantanmen broth
Preparing the broth is very easy.
The first thing we need is a low-salt broth. I chose chicken broth, but if you are vegetarian, you can use a vegetable one.
Although traditionally, this broth is made with soy milk, which does not contain sugar. Ikigai suggests preparing it with nut milk (we used “vivesoy frutos second” from spain) and after having tried both options, I will stick with his recommendation.
You will also need a small piece of kombu seaweed, dehydrated shitake mushrooms and katsuobushi.
To finish, we flavor the broth with sesame paste (tahini), soy sauce, rice vinegar and ichimi togarashi.
If you are ramen lovers, you will know that ramen noodles have a different texture and flavour than pasta.
This is because when they are prepared, an alkaline element known as kansui is added to them.
We can replicate this effect without having to prepare the ramen noodles at home. The trick is to add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water in which we boil the noodles.
Ikigai recommends using Soubry’s Mie Chinese noodles, but any Asian long noodle for mie will do. If you can’t find them, another option is to use instant ramen noodles without the envelope.
If chashu is my husband’s favourite side topping, mine is the egg. And the best of all, it’s easy and quick to prepare.
We put a pot of water to boil and add the eggs. We cook them between 6 and 7 minutes, depending on how cooked you want them. My favourite way, is 6 and a half minutes.
If you’re wondering how to get the yolk centred, there’s a trick to it. Just stir the eggs for the first 2 minutes.
Finally, prepare a bowl with very cold water and a few ice cubes, this will stop the eggs from cooking. If you are in a hurry, you can peel them and eat them without marinating.
If you have a little more time, you can marinate them with a little soy sauce or, my favourite option, following the recipe I will share in the upcoming weeks.
Both on the Chinese and Japanese version of this dish, the Dan Dan noodles are accompanied by minced meat. The best part, this version of ramen meat is ready in a jiffy.
How to make RAMEN in 20 min » Tantanmen recipe
- 1 portion noodles
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 200 g pork, minced
- 5 g garlic, grated
- 5 g ginger, grated
- 20 g onion, cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- Tobandjang, to taste
- Bimi , optional
- Sesame seeds, optional
- Nori , optional
- rayu, spicy japanese oil
- In a pot, bring water to boil and add the eggs. Cook them for 6 and a half minutes. The secret to get a centered yolk is to stir the eggs for the first 2 minutes.
- Prepare a bowl with very cold water and a few ice cubes. When the eggs are cooked, pour them into the bowl to stop their cooking.
- If you are in a hurry. You can peel them and eat them without marinating. If you have more time you can marinate them with a little soy sauce or, my favorite option, following the recipe I share in the description.
- Pour some oil in a frying pan. And fry the garlic and ginger.
- After a few minutes, add the onion and cook until it starts to color.
- Add 200 grams of minced meat and mix well.
- Finally, add 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Optionally, you can add a teaspoon of tobandjang.
- Mix well and set aside.
- In a pot, add the broth, the vegetable milk, the kombu seaweed and the shitake mushrooms.
- Heat over medium heat and before it starts to boil, remove from the heat and add a handful of katsuobushi. Leave to infuse for about 10 minutes.
- When the broth has infused, we can strain it, add it to the bowl and mix well.
- Bring the water to a boil. When it is boiling, add a teaspoon of baking soda, being careful because it will foam - I recommend using a large pot.
- Add the noodles and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- As soon as they are ready, strain.
- Add the noodles to the bowl with the broth and mix.
- Add the meat and the egg. Today I chose to add bimi, sesame seeds and spicy oil.